May is a time to celebrate small businesses. In our mail-order/drive-thru/cookie-cutter existence, you, small business owners, give our lives and communities character, color, and identity. Thank you.
I’ve written frequently about how tough it is for small business owners to think proactively and for the long-term when immediate concerns are so, well, immediate. I don’t have any answers to a lack of time, but I’ve run across some tips and resources that can help you market on a shoestring.
Writing for Forbes, Mike Kappel has seven tips for small budgets. Note: It has never been easier to start a website or blog than it is right now. If you’ve been putting it off, don’t. Start with a simple, one-page site with a concise description of what you do, where you are, and how customers can reach you. Make sure the site looks good on smart phones and tablets.
If you feel like your business gets lost among your competitors during the big annual sales, consider picking a new date for a promotion. Small Business Trends has some ideas, and a comprehensive list of lesser-known “holidays” and annual awareness campaigns. (Remember, May is National Small Business Month.) Don’t get lost in the crowd; find your own day and start making plans.
Need some inspiration? Check out the companies that the U.S. Small Business Administration singled out for recognition in their annual awards. Read their stories. Take a look at their websites. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m willing to be that you’ll find at least one marketing idea that you will be able to implement immediately.
Are you ready to write a marketing plan for your business? The SBA has a section of its website devoted just to sales and marketing. It includes a sample of a marketing plan to help get you started.
If you know you need to do a better job marketing, but can’t seem to find the forest for the trees, give me a call. The initial consultation is free.